Vote on Gay Clergy Causes Rift In Lutheran Denomination

A vote to permit the ordination of homosexuals in committed monogamous relationships for the United States Largest Lutheran denomination may provoke a rift among it’s leaders and members. The 559-451 vote August 21 during the Evangelical Lutheran church in America’s biennial churchwide assembly in Minneapolis approved a resolution to allow gays in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships” to serve as clergy.
The denomination had previously permitted celibate gay men and women to be ordained.
The churchwide assembly is the chief governing authority of the denomination.
However, some clergy has said they would leave or reconsider their membership.
Leaders from about 400 Lutheran congregations have planned a meeting for September in Indianapolis on how to deal with the situation, but without breaking with the church.

Washington (CNS)

I don’t think that the Catholic church and the Lutheran church are on the same level as one has said here on these forums. Seems there is more trouble brewing within these denominations than ever before.

I’m praying that this is God’s way of bringing them home! Those poor Lutherans, they really need our prayers, especially now, so they can have exchange their blindfold for the much preferred proverbial veil. :slight_smile:


A few thoughts from one directly affected, speaking for myself only –

  1. I was and remain opposed to the actions of the Churchwide Assembly. The decisions reached there contravene two millenia of Christian teaching.

  2. I am not rushing to leave the ELCA. While that is a possibility in time, anything I do will be the result of careful prayer and discernment and not a blind, emotional reaction.

  3. I will be following closely the actions of those ELCA Lutherans who are looking for ways to separate themselves from the new policies.

  4. I appreciate the prayers of all who understand the distress of those of us who seek to remain faithful to traditional Christian teaching on the matter of same-sex relationships.

Well said. I hope I am never in the same boat.


As a former member of the United Methodist Church whose parents are still members, let me gently ask you this question:

When you review the actions of the ELCA and the Episcopalians in recent years, don’t you have to ask yourself: “Was this what Jesus had in mind when He prayed for the unity of all believers?”

And if the honest answer is no, then wouldn’t the follow up be: “Is it possible that the Catholics had it right all along?”

I’m not piling on…I understand that you were (probably) born into Methodism/Protestantism as I was. However, you don’t have to remain there.

Food for thought anyway…

I grew up in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) & remained there until I was received into the CC in 2005. The majority of my relatives are still with the ELCA. After this vote, my Aunt is seriously considering leaving the church. I’m not sure where she’ll end up or if she will leave, but I do know that it is causing my Uncle quite a lot of grief since being active in the church has been something that they’ve done together since they were married in 1973. It’s really quite sad.


ELCA’s loss is probably Missouri’s gain.

That being said, in regard to the original poster, ELCA may be the largest lutheran denomination in America, but it is not the lutheran church.

Were it me, I would probably leave the church and find something else. Either WELS/Missouri, or take a swim in the Tiber/Bosphorus.

Here’s the Wisconsin response (disclosure: I am a member of WELS): Wisconsin’s Lutheran Chief Expresses Regret over ELCA Decision

Though I think this does raise larger questions about the lutheran movement in general- whether it is something that will continue to be sustainable in the long run, most specifically. I don’t see anything but a further polarization of lutheranism coming from this. At some point, one has to ask what a lutheran even is anymore, and whether the dynamics of the situation are pushing some of us toward a more liberal UCC model, and others closer to the Catholic model.

Frankly, I’m not sure either way is good for lutherans or christianity as a whole, despite what I am sure will be some vigorous protests by Catholic posters here who would love to see Luther relegated to the dustbin of history, and watch the lutheran experiment finally fail after 500 years. Yes, that is how seriously I take this decision- things like this, especially when ELCA does it, puts literally everything the rest of us are trying to do in jeopardy.

It’s a tough, tough spot they put you in, that’s for sure. Frankly, they put every lutheran in a tough spot, even non-ELCA.

I’d love to hear a follow up from you on this when you are able to come to a decision on a course of action. What pastors like you do today could have a large impact on how a lot of us in other lutheran communities worship in the future, and I’m not just talking about ELCA.

I’m a former Lutheran and my local church was an ELCA church. We left it in 1989 because our local church became so liberal that it (the pastor) was teaching things incompatable with the historic Lutheran teachings. The ELCA is a part of the world wide Lutheran movement, it is basically but not all in the USA and there are other Lutheran groups such as the LCMS which are much more conservative.

To answer Randy’s question about the kind of unity Jesus talks about. Roman Catholics define church unity different from protestants. This makes sense because protestants and Catholics define the church and who are members of the church differently. But regardless of how you define the church and who belongs to it, I think we can all agree that God knows who is really a member of the church and He (God) is not impressed by any kind of superficial “unity” to protect the “chuches” apprearance.

While there is a noticable shift in the ELCA in the liberal direction, there are many within the ELCA that are not liberal and not happy about the events of late. Even I’m sad to see this happen. However, the the personal beliefs and theology of millions of Lutherans is totally incompatable with those of the RCC so while there may be some future agreement to coorperate together protestants/catholics, there will never be any kind of “unity” in belief and theology without one of the two parties ceasing to function, the other absorbing the remanent.

Its important to note to all of those reading this thread. This is the action of the ELCA only within the Lutheran church.

My prayers are with everyone within the ELCA that are appalled over this decision by the ELCA.

My suggestion would be to leave the church denomination and look for another Lutheran church who holds to and believes what the Word of God actually says.

But this is between you and God…and you have my prayers!

:thumbsup: well said…

I truly “feel” for these Lutherans who have been saddled with Sin On the Alter. I personally find it hard to comprehend how UNREPENTANT Sinners can be allowed to preach to the Masses of any Congregation.

And make no bones about it. Active Practicing Homosexuals are clearly unrepentant. Their Actions are testimony & proof positive of that sad & sorry state of affairs.

I guess for some misguided folks the Hope that God is a Loving God & a Merciful one seems to Obscure that Fact that God is also a Jealous & Judgmental God. One that has Through Scripture & Tradition of all the affected “Churches” taught that an eternal Judgement can be expected, no it is Promised. & God will not be mocked.! It is truly a sad time we live in when so many are being led astray by these False Teachers.

Good Luck Lutheran Friends, I hope you can work things out. But in all honesty don’t you think that the Cancer will spread? perhaps its time to Rethink Much Like Luther did those many centuries ago.

I don’t think that homosexuals are unrepentant. They can’t help it if they are “different”. It is not a choice to be gay. You find out at early age in life. Do you not think that God knows what you are to become before you are born? Of course you do, so they are in fact accepted. According to the Catechism of the Catholic church, it says they are to be accepted AND respected. Our Catholic church is the only one tolerant of these people. Remember, love the sinner, hate the sin. Personally, I do not feel gays will go straight to hell…:shrug:


Where on earth did you get that idea from :confused:

I joined the Methodist church 16 years ago after leaving a fundamentalist Baptist background with a 4 year wandering in the wildernress. My central issue Randy is that essentially my family is firmly rooted in the UMC and I remain somewhat a skeptic.
I don’t want to be but I am.
The Catholic Church is the best chance for Christian unity. We agree.
Maybe someday, maybe not.

You can have them.

In our Catechism. Furthermore, Baptists and the like are so against gay people it isn’t funny. I know this man who got his son up in front of his whole Baptist church and said to pray to release the demons in him. How terrible is that? The kid was 15 years old and wanted to commit suicide from this. They need to be accepted. Do you accept them or are you gonna dance around this question too?

I’m sticking with the standard “love the sinner, hate the sin.” I do believe that people (at least most people) are born with their orientation and can’t help it. So if someone struggles with same-sex attraction I think they need the support (and that does NOT “driving out of demons”:eek:) of their church family.

However, I don’t think this means supporting them in deliberately living a sinful lifestyle. I have a dear friend who struggles with severe alcoholism, and I know I could probably get him into church if there were a keg there. But isn’t that feeding the sin, rather than the person?

I have been considering my stance on ELCA teachings (not just homosexuality) for at least 5 years and have almost left several times, but I was in college and then moved so just haven’t. So, I feel quite comfortable making the decision to leave the ELCA after this latest decision. I liken it to a boat that is full of holes (cliche, I know). At first you can try to plug some of the holes, but if that doesn’t help, you’d better get off sometime! All I’ve seen with the ELCA (churchwide leadership, anyway) is increasing liberalism.

I’m not saying it’s an easy decision, though. My brother-in-law is an ELCA pastor extremely dismayed by this decision, and so he and many other pastors are trying to decide what to do. In their case I empathize and could see that it would be hard to decide what to do! Because there are also their congregations involved, who are likely as conservative as their pastors.

So my main decision now is…LCMS, AALC, or RCC? :confused:

I dont dance around questions. I fought alongside homosexual men and women. I know first hand the struggle they go through.

You didnt answer my question. You said the catholic church is the ONLY church tolerant of ‘‘these’’ people.

Our Catholic church is the **only one tolerant **of these people.

My question is where did you get the idea from that the catholic church is the ONLY one tolerant of homosexual men and women - ‘‘these’’ people as you call them.

Many many christian churchs embrace homosexual men and women with love, charity and acceptance. The catholic church is by no means the only one.

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